Tax office, remediation or not?
One of the most common creditors within a debt settlement for entrepreneurs or ex-entrepreneurs is the Tax Authorities.
A frequently made comment by entrepreneurs is, I have a tax debt and now the other creditor will get nothing more. Unlike in bankruptcy, the Tax and Customs Administration does not take precedence over all creditors. They do have a special position, depending on the type of debt.
In practice, we are dealing with different tax debts. First of all we have the allowances, rent, care, child allowance. These are “normal” debts and are treated competitor and receive the same proposal as all other creditors.
Other tax debts such as income tax, turnover tax and payroll tax are preferential receivables and are offered a double percentage within debt counseling against final discharge of the residual debt.
Even if you are an entrepreneur, the Tax and Customs Administration is, under certain circumstances, still willing to agree to a restructuring proposal. Naturally, this must be well substantiated. For a restarting entrepreneur, a restructuring loan is therefore often used on the basis of the decision to assist self-employed persons (BBZ - link). This scheme contributes to an independently tested offer, because the municipality engages an independent business administration agency that conducts research into viability.
In addition, when restructuring tax debt) it is of great importance that the current obligations are paid on time every month or quarter and that you keep in touch with the relevant recipient.
For example, two years ago I ran into a smooth woman of about 56 years old. For years she had a clothing store in alternative clothing. Substantial arrears had arisen as a result of disappointing income during the economic crisis. This also applies to the tax authorities. The Tax and Customs Administration had already made several attempts to collect its claim. She was averse to administration on the computer, but very motivated to continue her business.
I referred her to the municipality. Because of her age, Ms was eligible for a BBZ credit under the older self-employed scheme. This meant that she would receive a free amount if an agreement could be reached with all creditors. A loan under this older independent scheme usually means that the company is not viable.
The tax authorities were also presented with the proposal against final discharge. In the first instance, she refused because there would be no redemption capacity and the person concerned would not obtain pre-calculated turnover. After consultation with the Tax and Customs Administration, we submitted additional figures and explained the content of the proposal. On a beautiful Wednesday afternoon I received the redeeming word from the Tax Authorities; they would agree anyway.
Now I had promised Madam that if the final letter of agreement came in, I would visit her personally. I will not forget the moment I was in her shop. Never have I seen anyone so happy and relieved. And now after six months she is still doing well and she no longer has problems with paying her fixed costs and the ongoing obligations with the Tax Authorities. She did not have to go to social assistance and remains active as an entrepreneur, she has been given a new chance.
Kelly Vink, senior insolvency advisor at Zuidweg & Partners